As we’re approaching the half-way mark of term 1, it’s normal to feel a little homesick. People don’t often talk about it because they feel pressure to have a good time. Remember, it’s okay to not enjoy yourself 24/7. You can be loving your time here, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get a little homesick. I think people tend to ignore it because they’re ashamed or embarrassed, when it’s a completely normal feeling!
Here’s some useful advice to help you tackle any form of homesickness and enjoy the rest of term.
Plan a trip home
I’m starting with an obvious one because it’s something people forget to do. I’m not suggesting you should go home every time you a feel an ounce of homesickness. But sometimes having a date in mind can make time pass quicker.
Plan a trip home before the end of term if possible. It can be a nice change of pace and give you some time away from your studies. This is a great idea if you’re likely to be working around the festive season and are not likely to get much time off to visit home.
If you can’t visit before the end of term, plan your trip home in advance! Having a date set in the diary will put your mind at ease. If you’re going via public transport, you’re likely to save a bit of money too!
Keep yourself busy
Don’t burn yourself out, but make sure you’re keeping up appearances. Spend time with your friends, get to know new people and experience your new city. Don’t just see the same people all the time and make sure you’re doing different things. This way you won’t get bored or feel monotonous.
If you like routine, make sure you plan your time wisely. Having a routine really helps pass time quicker and makes you feel more settled in your new environment. I found planning something for each day of the week made me feel like I had some structure to my time. Even if you just plan to go for a walk, knowing what you’re doing that day will pass the time quicker.
Talk about it
Whether you reach out to friends or family, they’re likely to be feeling the same or will have felt it at some point. A problem shared, is a problem halved. Sometimes just opening up and admitting you feel homesick can be a big relief and take a weight off your shoulders. It is a really big change, especially if you move somewhere very different to your home. It’s normal to take some time to adjust.
If you want to speak to someone confidentially – reach out to student services. They’re not just there if you have a problem to tackle, they’re there even if you just need a chat.
Give it time
Give yourself a chance to get used to being away. It can be hard to settle in somewhere new if you spend a lot of time going back and forth. If you’re the kind of person that needs it, establish a routine. Make sure you have enough time between visits back home to settle into a routine.
When I first moved, I was so excited to be away from home and loved being somewhere new, but it didn’t mean I never got homesick. Over time those feelings ease as you settle in. It just takes different lengths of time for different people.
Keep in touch
Sometimes when people are homesick, they can withdraw from contacting home. Thinking it will make them feel worse if they speak/see people, when actually it can have the opposite effect. If you keep up to date with people, you’re less likely to feel like you’re missing out on anything.
Don’t forget to call people back home because they’ll be missing you too. Plan a time where you always speak to them, so you know you will be speaking to them regularly. Sometimes it can just take a 5-minute conversation to feel like a breath of fresh air.
Remember homesickness is completely normal. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed for feeling it!